The Liberals are battered and bruised but not out. Despite taking a beating in the polls and attacks from all sides, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau fended off a challenge from Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives to hang onto the Prime Minister’s job — and the worst fears of US-style populist extremism.

However, he will be leading a much-reduced government. The Liberals lost 21 seats, and their majority in Parliament. To govern, they’ll now have to work with the opposition parties to get their agenda through the legislature.

So, what happens now?

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On the occasion of Luc Ferrandez‘s resignation from politics, I thought I’d compile a top 10 of Ferrandez moments over the past number of years — a rather worst-of compilation, if you will:

 

10. That time when he got a ticket for riding his Bixi the wrong way down St-Laurent in the middle of traffic. Way to set an example there as a cycling advocate, Luc.

9. Plateau Snow Removal Excuse-Watch 2015… that winter when he just decided not to do any snow removal, and kept coming up with ever-more creative excuses each time.

8. When he attacked and swore at flood victims on Facebook, telling them it was their own fault that their homes were underwater, and charmingly tossing f-bombs at them.

7. That time he suggested we tax everything, including parking, cars, investments, and meat. Oh yeah, that was today.

6. That time he fell asleep during a council meeting, and then threatened to sue the reporters who wrote about it. He claimed he was “just resting his eyes”. That’s what my sister used to say when she’d fall asleep in the backseat of the car on the way home from skiing when we were kids. It was as true for her as it was for him.

5. Amazingly, that may have been one of the only times he actually showed up to a council meeting. He had a tendency to miss those. Like, a lot. So much so that the opposition threatened to call a by-election to replace him in 2012 after he was absent for more than 3 months. (He didn’t respond right away, cause he was — you guessed it — on vacation. I think when it comes to time in office spent actually working, he actually may even be worse than Trump.)

4. The war of words he launched with the fire chief over “traffic-calming” measures that would have blocked emergency access routes. When the fire chief spoke up, M. Ferrandez … tried to get him fired. Yes, really.

3. When he demolished the baseball diamond at Jeanne-Mance park supposedly because it was “too dangerous” (i.e. because one person got hit by a ball)… and when there was a public outcry, he dismissed the players as “hot dog-eating anglophones“.

2. His ongoing war with Plateau merchants about removal of parking spaces. This one’s just kind of a constant facet of his administration. It has come to a head a number of times over the years, notably with a staged shutdown in 2015. But far from listening to the woes of small business owners, Ferrandez only became more dogmatic about his plans, as, one by one, the stores closed up shop and the formerly vibrant streets slowly died.

1. The wildly unpopular closure of Mount Royal to through traffic last summer, which was Ferrandez’s pet project, and which probably cost him whatever was left of his political career.

Believe me, this list could’ve been way longer than just ten things. But this is a pretty decent summary of M. Ferrandez’s years in office.
Don’t let that door hit ya on the way out.

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Midterm musings: Not the blue wave America needed

11.07.2018

The results of the midterms are in. As was widely expected, the Democratic Party took back control of the House of Representatives, picking up, at last count, about 25 seats. Meanwhile, the Republicans actually picked up a few Senate seats. So we have a divided Congress, but, for the first time since Trump took office, […]

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Pittsburgh: Three days later

10.30.2018

Here I am, three days later, and still angry. Scared. Terrified, in fact. But I realize, I’m not terrified at the notion that a madman might come shoot up a synagogue, mosque, church, school, community centre. Even though all these things have happened and keep happening. Terrorism is still — thankfully — relatively rare. And […]

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Montreal vigil for Pittsburgh

10.29.2018

Hundreds of members of the Jewish Community packed the Beth Israel Beth Aaron shul in Cote St Luc last night for a vigil to remember the victims of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life shooting. The memorial, organized by Federation CJA and CIJA, was attended by politicians of all stripes and representatives of the municipal, provincial […]

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Technology and the far right

10.29.2018

An important read about the role of social media in the global rise of the far right, and how a handful of tech companies are now scrambling to answer for the damage that they’re only starting to acknowledge that they’ve done: “I’ve followed that dark evolution of internet culture ever since. I’ve had the privilege […]

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Pittsburgh Jewish Community to Trump: You’re not welcome here

10.28.2018

Pittsburgh Jewish leaders to Trump: You’re not welcome here: “Our Jewish community is not the only group you have targeted,” the group wrote. “You have also deliberately undermined the safety of people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities. Yesterday’s massacre is not the first act of terror you incited against a minority […]

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Penguins support Pittsburgh

10.28.2018

The Pittsburgh Penguins are setting a good example on how, in the wake of tragedy, actions speak louder than words. Much respect. “The team announced on Sunday that it would hold a blood drive on Monday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and would cancel its annual Halloween-themed festivities at Tuesday’s game, instead opting to […]

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On empathy, tragedy, and the eleven victims of the Pittsburgh shooting

10.28.2018

Reading the obituaries of the 11 murdered victims in the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting and all I can keep thinking about is how these people sound so familiar. Richard Gottfried was a dentist around my parents’ age. He ran a 10km race every year. He also had a nephew in BBYO, the same youth organization I […]

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Trump fans: Yes, this is your fault

10.28.2018

This piece in The Atlantic makes the direct link between Trump’s anti-migrant hysteria and the shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue that left eleven people dead yesterday: Before committing the Tree of Life massacre, the shooter, who blamed Jews for the caravan of “invaders” and who raged about it on social media, made it clear that […]

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